Readers Will Be Leaders . . . or Not

This oft repeated statement can be misleading. It has no more authority than saying listeners will be learners. In both cases it depends on the subject matter which is to be read or listened to. Let me explain.   What is read will determine where it will lead. Reading the works of men who deny the infallibility of the Word of God can bring no good conclusion. The achievement of academic excellence can be no substitute for being full of truth. Soaking up the philosophies of men can only corrupt the mind and heart if those philosophies besmirch the Scripture in any way.

“It is surprising how much a few hours spent with the right person can change one’s thinking. One day it was my privilege to be the chauffeur for A. W. Tozer and to spend several hours with him. He had already influenced me deeply through his books and editorials. I had been impressed with his wide knowledge of Christian classics, so when my opportunity came, I quizzed him about his reading habits and the books that had influenced him the most. “Don’t ever read a good book,” he said to my surprise. “You don’t have time. You will never read all the best books. For goodness’ sake, don’t waste your time on a good one!” He spoke with an explosive conviction. “There is a difference between having read widely and having read well. I would much rather be well-read than widely read. That is why I often reread an old work rather than search for a new one. If it is a great book, it deserves more than one reading.” Decades and decades have passed since that conversation, yet the wisdom of that slight little man is still poignantly impressive to me. It is not possible to read even all the best books, and the number of books one can know with any thoroughness is hauntingly small. So, each book that we choose is of great importance. The popular titles will come to have less of a hold on us, and some classics will beckon us to read them again and again. What matters is not the quantity of material that we read, but the truth we gain with understanding.” (Excerpt take from Ed Erny Legacies of Fatih, Quote: Dennis Kinlaw, This day with he Master, June 10 reading)

Joe Rogan once interviewed Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson. The religious skeptic has spoken openly about faith and Christianity in the last year. After visiting the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., Peterson acknowledged how the Bible built Western civilization and is the foundation for truth: “It isn’t that the Bible is true. It’s that the Bible is the precondition for the manifestation of truth, which makes it way more true than just true. It’s a whole different kind of true. I think this is not only literally the case, factually, I think it can’t be any other way. It’s the only way we can solve the problem of perception.” (Jordan Peterson)

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” – Psalm 119:11

It is also true that listeners will be learners. What they listen to will teach them something. They may listen to a false idea, or an untruth, or a pagan practice. If they listen to it long enough It will be lodged in their minds. It is true that they are learning but learning in and of itself is not a goal to be desired. Paul warns us that there are men of corrupt minds who have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. They are not to be listened to.

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
2Timothy 3:5

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 2Timothy 3:7

Frivolous reading and frivolous listening are both dangerous since they are both gateways to our hearts and our minds.

In a similar comparison it is a fact that eaters will live, but what they eat may be killing them. So, I say to my Christian friends, what you read and what you listen to may be killing you while it is God’s choice for you to have life and to have it abundantly.

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” – Psalm 101:3

“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.”
Proverbs 20:12

Why would anyone read or listen to words that create doubt in the authenticity of the words of the Creator? I can only surmise that it is evil pride in one’s own sense of superiority. It is a refusal to recognize that the heart of man is desperately wicked. Every Christian, particularly ministry students and functioning pastors, must decide whose words are pure words; whose words are true words; and whose words are going to last forever and commit to to those words. If they do not do this, they are really undercover agents for the enemies of God.